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Mathilda De Keyser

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De Keyser

Mathilde De Keyser and Sylvan DeNamur Were married August 26, 1893

Aunt Tilly, born on September 21, 1867, died on July 5, 1932, so most of the relatives living today (2003) never knew her.  Aunt Tilly’s children were well known by many of us in the family, however.  Her children were Eva, born in 1895; Harry, born in 1897; Elmer, born in 1899; Herbert S., born in 1903; and one child, Raymond, was born in 1905 but died in 1907.  Emma De Keyser’s children were very close to their DeNamur cousins.  Eva was well loved by all of the family as were all the boys.

Aunt Tilly’s three sons were all in some branch of law enforcement.  Harry was a guard at the Wisconsin State Reformatory for 33 years.  Elmer worked for the Green Bay Police Department for twenty-two years, retiring as their chief mechanic.  Herbie was also with the Green Bay Police Department for twenty-two years before his retirement.  Following is a letter to the editor printed in the Green Bay Press-Gazette after Herbie’s death:

“Many West Side teen-agers lost a wonderful friend when Herbert DeNamur, (fondly nicknamed “Gus” by them) a retired policeman, passed away.  Their beautiful floral offering, with many of their names on it, was marked ‘To a Grand Friend’.

“As he repaired television sets in his garage, he never was too busy to advise or visit with them.  In more than a month that he was in the hospital dozens of them overcame transportation handicaps and visited him regularly as well as did some of their parents.

“One older sister at St. Vincent Hospital said none of them had ever seen a man with so many young people devoted to him.  On one of his last days, a mother of nine came in with two of her teen-agers and said he had been such a good influence on the young people that she hated to think of them getting along without him.

“On the day of the funeral, about 18 nice neat-looking high school age boys and girls lined up to take a last look at him,  and many of the girls cried as they left.  Others were in the room with their parents.

“He had no children of his own but he called them all “his kids”.  They served as pall bearers and honorary pall bearers.

“Their offers of help and kindness to his widow was also very touching.  Many of us had our faith renewed in our young people, and what do they say about the “generation gap?”  A cousin, West De Pere, Wis.”

What better tribute could be paid to a mother and father than to have raised good, responsible children?  Such tributes to their children are indeed also fitting tributes to Aunt Tilly and Uncle Sylvan DeNamur.